The Island and the Sea

We rise as islands, solitary in the sea. Splendiferous solidity in the midst of what cannot ever be still. We are strength to her pull. Brown to her blue. All that she is not. To be there, to stand for something, to know one’s begining and end. To have a form that defines. That is us. Is me. The sea does not even know where she begins or ends. Nor does she care where she is pulled, trying out every lure there is. And yet she laps at my feet, giving and taking some of herself each time. To know her is to know her cool breezes. To know her is to be comforted that she will be back. And to know not what she is thinking each time she comes back.

Often a gentle kiss, a little light flutter and she is gone. Some days she comes roaring in demanding to be heard. Dumping all that she does not want to deal with on days of her passion. Taking what she will on others. It is her silence that brings doom. Nay, her deep sighs are worse for they presage storms that are irresistible. I surrender to her and be hers when she will have me so.

She does nothing for me, really, does she? Her waters do not nurture my growth. She stays close but away. There for me, around me, but never in me. She does not care to be. If she wanted to, she could rise and take me over. I could not resist. I do not, as she creeps up on me and mine. One day, I think, she will have me. But till then I stand named and tall.

I too do not stand for her. I stand for myself. I stand to grow with lush greens and warm sands. Yes, she made the sands for me, but they are not hers. She spewed what she could spare. I stand large and green waiting to be inhabited. First will come the dreamers. They come in boats. No, I lie. First came those who were marooned. Those who had lost direction and could not find anything to lean on. I stood for them. They took some solace, some wood and left. Some came back. Those who had learnt to navigate did come back. The lost were lost to me forever more. They came back as dreamers. Then came the fishermen. They came to take and leave. She washed away their footprints. I hoped she was jealous. But I could never tell. She was who she was always – herself. How could I know what she wanted?

Then came the farmers and the woodsmen. They sought to shape me. (Even she had not tried to do that, even as she did). It was good. I was inhabited. I had thoughts and dreams. Ideas and conversations. I had plans laid for me, on me. It was progress. I was wanted, needed and fought over. They worshipped me and I felt benevolent. Giving generously, knowing that these were my people. She was forgotten at my edges. I had work to do for those who offered me daily devotion. As with devotees, they demanded more. I was sore, but I was bound. It was a circle, they called it life.

I stood tall and alone. And bright. The lights were not mine, they had come in ways I did not understand. I was wanted, desired. Named and famous too. They came to see me and my grandeur. They came to see her too – how did they know what she was to me? Why did they name her as they named me? She was never mine and now she bears my name. Lapping away lazily, carelessly. Unseen, she thinks.

I wait noiselessly. I know her moods. I know she will come for me one day. A deep sigh, a long breath. A roar. And she will take me with her. I will come. She knows I will.

3 thoughts on “The Island and the Sea”

Comments are closed.